Facing life’s challenges

open-bibleWe encounter change in our world every day. We are changing too. Amidst so much shifting — so much change — we often find ourselves groping for something solid to hold on to, some solid place upon which we can stand. Three passages immediately come to mind.

The first has to do with the many daily choices we make which result in changes in our life’s direction. The words of Jesus give great insight. At the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. the rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash” (Matthew 7:24-27).

The second relates to the challenges we face in life which leave us reeling and wonder how we will make it through dark days which lie ahead. We sometimes feel like we are making these decisions “in the blind.” We really don’t know what lies ahead, but we must choose which path to take. At times like these I take refuge in the words of confidence and conviction expressed by the prophet David. In Psalm 23 he stated, “The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”

The third passage speaks to the times in which our strength is weak and our spirits are flagging. At times such as this God speaks to our hearts through the conviction of the prophet Isaiah. His convictions are expressed as follows: “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:28-31)

© Bill Williams, a fellow sojourner
September 18, 2016

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